Dear UC Santa Cruz Alumni and Friends,
Our first Board meeting of 2016-‐2017 is just a week away, but before we turn to the exciting challenges before us, I wanted to take a moment to look back over our accomplishments and activities of the past year, and to thank you for your commitment, your philanthropy, and for all you have done for UC Santa Cruz.
Philanthropy of Foundation Trustees
As you all know, our primary responsibility as Trustees is to promote private philanthropic support of UC Santa Cruz. You have recently received the University Relations report for 2015-‐2016, which contains lots of exciting news in this regard. Most importantly, the campus concluded its most successful fund-‐ raising year in history and is on track to exceed its $300 million comprehensive campaign target during this academic year. As our Chancellor has said, the “campaign could not have achieved its successes without the leadership and active contributions of the Foundation Board.” A couple of encouraging data points: first, giving by all Foundation Trustees, past and present, including twenty Honorary and Emeritus Trustees, totals $69.2M in the 42 years since the Foundation was established. Notably, $33.7M of that number, or approximately 49%, has been donated by Elected Trustees in just the seven years since the launch of the campaign in 2009. Philanthropy among our Trustees is accelerating, and Trustee commitment to the mission of UC Santa Cruz is growing ever stronger. We are inspired by and grateful to each of you who have contributed to the success of the campaign to date.
Thanks is also due to the Trustees who participated in the first-‐ever UC Santa Cruz giving day last May. Trustees were responsible for about half of the matching and challenge gifts that were raised to encourage giving on that day, which totaled about $339K and significantly exceeded expectations.
Support of the University’s Teaching, Research and Service Mission
Trustees have also worked to build and support new programs and the student experience. For example, at our February meeting last year, we experimented for the first time (at least in recent history) with organizing our attendees into five separate working groups, each led by the responsible development officer and focused on a key fundraising objective (Genomics Institute, Center for South Asian Studies, Center for the Environment, The Quarry, and endowed faculty chairs). Most of these projects have made significant progress, thanks in significant part to the engagement of our Trustees.
Our Board Opportunity Fund Committee funded five separate proposals by our faculty, a very exciting way for Trustees to become involved in and to witness tangible outcomes of philanthropy. The proposals were: Migration, Mobility, and (Non-‐)citizenship, submitted by Catherine Ramirez, Director, Chicano Latino Research Center and Associate Professor, Latin American and Latino Studies, and sponsored by Trustee David Korduner ($10,000); The Ghetto at 500, submitted by Murray Baumgarten and Nathaniel Deutsch, Co-‐Directors, Jewish Studies, and sponsored by Trustees Ted Goldstein and Richard Moss ($10,000); Preserving and Curating the Randall Morgan Insect Collection, submitted by Karen Holl, Professor of Environmental Studies and Faculty Director, Kenneth S. Norris Center for Natural History, and sponsored by Trustee Alec Webster ($9,800); Summer Entrepreneurship Academy, submitted by Manel Camps, Associate Professor of Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology and Provost, Crown College, and sponsored by Trustee Brandon Allgood ($10,000); and Public Philosophy and the Language of Conservation, submitted by Jonathan E. Ellis, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director, Center for Public Philosophy, and sponsored by Trustee Richard Moss ($9,000). Each of the sponsoring Trustees participated in the preparation and consideration of the sponsored application.
Many of us have also served the campus in an advisory capacity over the last year. First, the seven-‐ member ad hoc Tech Transfer Committee was able to provide significant guidance and a letter of support for Vice Chancellor Scott Brandt, who was authorized in turn to create an office to facilitate commercialization of UC Santa Cruz intellectual property and to develop industry alliances to advance the university’s research mission (thanks to Brandon Allgood, David Doshay, Loren Kinczel, Vikram Sahai, former Trustee Ted Goldstein, and alum Stephen Abreu for your support). Brandon Allgood also served on the search committee to recruit an assistant vice chancellor to lead this effort, who was hired over the summer and has already made tremendous progress in developing the necessary infrastructure.
Second, we arranged for several Trustees to provide advice and counsel to the Chancellor at his request: three advised him with respect to his system-‐wide work on guidelines governing sexual harassment and abuse by faculty (thanks are due to Paul Hall and David Korduner), and three recently spoke with him and other senior campus executives concerning public-‐private partnerships for construction of campus housing (thanks are due to Steve Crowe, Randy Wedding and John Woodward). In addition, I served last spring and again this fall on the CP/EVC search committee, whose work is now coming to fruition with the visits of the five finalists to campus in recent weeks. In addition, at the Chancellor’s invitation, I chair the seven-‐member ad hoc NCAA Division III task force responsible to advise him on whether to retain NCAA Division III athletics at UC Santa Cruz (thanks to Paul Hall, Rob Holo, David Korduner and Loren Steck as well as our Alumni Association colleagues Charlie Eadie and Paul Simpson for your participation).
Many of our Trustees also serve on the Dean’s Advisory Councils and are otherwise involved in impactful projects on campus, including the eight-‐week Summer Entrepreneurship Academy just concluded at Crown based on former Trustee Steve Blank’s Lean LaunchPad and the NSF I-‐Corps program. Our thanks also to Anu Luther, who continues to kindle our imaginations and, true to her vision, enrich the intellectual life of the campus and community with the acclaimed Maitra lecture series.
In addition, many of our Trustees have hosted, supported and/or attended a multitude of UC Santa Cruz events, including Loren Steck, who offered our Director and several Trustees a ride in his perfectly restored antique “Woodie,” which he steered along the downtown Santa Cruz Banana Slug Parade route; Steve Crowe, who again hosted a parent event for those living along the 680 corridor; and former Trustee Stephanie Harkness, who last year hosted an event at the Beach and Tennis Club at Pebble Beach at which Gary Griggs spoke, and is hosting another such event this year, featuring David Haussler. On top of this, many other Trustees have hosted or emceed the crowd-‐pleasing Great Minds and Original Thinkers events.
I surely have overlooked the contributions of some of our hard-‐working Trustees. Please accept my thanks and know that you are appreciated by the Foundation and those that have benefited by your support.
Improvements To The Foundation’s Structure, Procedures, and Events
Over the course of the academic year, the Foundation hosted three Board meetings and a host of Committee meetings. Many thanks to all for your participation – it’s a significant commitment of time from our busy lives.
With respect to the Board meetings, Foundation leadership worked with University Relations to introduce several innovations. We were able to start our meetings a little later, but shorten the business portion of the meetings so that we could leave more time for campus presentations. This improvement was facilitated, among other things, by a change adopted in the new bylaws allowing us to rely on our committees to conduct much of the work of the Foundation without requiring a vote of the Board. This evolution is still in progress – we will be asking committee chairs to report only the highlights of the work of their committees in this coming year so that we can further shorten the business agenda. We also asked Chancellor Blumenthal to address his remarks to specific issues and engage in active discourse with the Trustees.
These changes have allowed our Trustees time and opportunity to gain more exposure to and inspiration from campus leadership, faculty and programs. In this regard, we heard as well in November from Dean Koch, Dean Stovall, and University Librarian Elizabeth Cowell (a first for Dean Stovall), in February from Vice Provost Herbert Lee (another first, we believe) and new faculty member Amy Mihyang Ginther (who was incredibly inspiring), and in May from Michelle Whittingham (who helped assuage outstanding concerns with the University admissions process) and Stacy Philpott and her colleagues (who fulsomely described the significant academic work done on the Farm). In May, we were also treated to a berry-‐picking tour of the Farm and an informal dinner in the Farm’s gardens.
Starting with that May 2015 meeting, we have worked to secure campus meeting venues to highlight programs and developments on the campus. Each of our meetings for the coming year is now scheduled for a UC Santa Cruz venue, with our first to be held on the new Silicon Valley campus.
Over the summer of 2015, the Foundation’s five-‐member ad hoc bylaws committee rewrote the bylaws (thank you to Laura Bushnell, Paul Hall, David Korduner, and Richard Moss). As you may recall, we were obliged to take on this job when it became clear that the Foundation’s elections process, though ratified by the Board over the years, was no longer consistent with our formal bylaws. We were able to put the train back on the tracks and to otherwise conform the bylaws to current practice without significant issue. Among other things, we also redefined Board membership to include Emeritus Trustees, i.e., Elected Trustees who have served at least two terms on the Board. We hope this change will inspire and enable former Trustees to maintain their commitment to and involvement with the campus for a lifetime.
Before the 2015-‐2016 year even started, Trustees teamed with Keith Brant, Vice Chancellor of University Relations, and members of his staff to hire a new Director of the Foundation. We believe we made an excellent hire. Sheila Bergman has brought a lifetime of experience in nonprofits and philanthropy to her work at UC Santa Cruz, helping us to mature as an organization.
Upon Sheila’s arrival, she and I set out on a first-‐time effort to meet with each and every one of our current and a few of our retiring Trustees, not only to gather feedback, but to get to know them so that the Foundation could better support them and insure that no more balls were dropped on projects dear to them. Our Board is a good deal stronger as a result of these efforts.
Much else was accomplished through the year. As you will recall, the Foundation hosted a dinner and program for all Trustees, past and present, together with their spouses, something that, to the best of our recollection, had never happened before. We also published a Trustee directory in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the campus. Also, at the end of the year, the Foundation hosted a welcome dinner for our two new and highly qualified Trustees, Hope Hardison and Randy Wedding, another first. It was at this last event that Chancellor Blumenthal complimented our efforts for the year, saying that we’d taken the Foundation to a whole new level of professionalism -‐ -‐ -‐ high praise indeed.
Despite our many gains, we still have a lot of work to do. Our philanthropic support of UC Santa Cruz lags well-‐established metrics for Foundation Boards of Trustees. In part this is due to the relative youth of our campus (though our 50th anniversary is behind us), the lack of professional academic programs and NCAA football, and our relatively small and still maturing alumni cadre (which, nonetheless, now totals over 100,000). Still, because public institutions of higher learning generally, and UC Santa Cruz in particular, face continuing declines in state support, we must strive to close the gap, both through our own giving and by encouraging the giving of others in our communities. We must also answer the call of campus leadership to assist them in meeting the many challenges to higher education, whether by serving as public advocates or experienced advisors.
Finally, to succeed as a Board, we must build and support working partnerships among the Foundation and its Trustees, on the one hand, and our Chancellor and the EVC, University Relations, Vice Chancellors, Deans, and the faculty, on the other. These personal connections are essential to the University’s ability to survive and thrive.
I look forward to our time together at the upcoming Board Retreat and Meeting, where we will have an opportunity not only to hear senior campus academic and administrative leaders share their visions for their areas of responsibility, but also to articulate our own vision for our Board, and the steps we must take to realize that vision.
Thank you again for your invaluable support of UC Santa Cruz.Sincerely,
Mary E. Doyle
UC Santa Cruz Foundation